Notes and Reflections on Noah's Other Son, by Brian Arthur Brown -- see introductory post for more information on this book
I'm moving on and not noting as much in each chapter although he has some pretty good information in many of them. He often introduces someone and then ends the chapter discussing some political topic or world event and relating it somehow. I did note a few things as I read the chapters on Jacob (Yaqub), Joseph (Yusuf), Moses (Musa) and the three Israelite kings (Saul/Talut, David/Dawoud and Solomon/Sulaimon).
The Ten Commandments are a summarization of universal codes of ethics that were passed down before them and "they endow those that come after them." The author mentions how "Christianity sits on a Jewish foundation and Americans in particular frequently refer to a Judeo-Christian foundation of their new-world culture." Therefore, "it is not unreasonable to state that Western civilization has a Jewish moral foundation and the Ten Commandments are increasingly acknowledged as Judaism's inestimable contribution of the moral foundation to an emerging global culture." (pg. 124)
The Ten Commandments are a foundation and thus, not everything. For they need interpreting. "Understood correctly, the Sharia is a divine abstract of the Law; the summary of the Law by Jesus is an interpretation; each person must work out his own ethical responsibilities in fear and trembling, as opposed to either merely obeying the Law or adopting the illusion that anything goes."
He states there are "both personal and communal applications of the Law to be worked out in every age" and the Ten Commandments are about "fundamental relationships." We must extend the application of these relationships to being not only between us and God and our fellow man, but to our environment and the animal kingdom. (pg. 125)
The author notes that the Quran "gives greater place to the quest to recover the Law."
In a chapter on "Women Who Have Names" the author speaks of the feminism of the Quran which is much less patriarchal than the Bible. For instance Pharaoh's and Potiphar's wives and the Queen of Sheba are all mentioned by name unlike the Biblical versions of their stories. He says Hagar is "especially important" (although I honestly cannot remember her being mentioned by name in the Quran). He states "only Mary rivals Jesus in the time and the space dedicated to individuals in the Quran. ... They are by far the two persons most often mentioned in Muslim Scriptures." (pg. 144) I may be wrong, but I remember Moses being mentioned the most in the Quran though I never did a formal count of how many times people were mentioned. I just recall hearing about Moses and Pharaoh a lot.
Although the author stated in the beginning he only wanted to explore the actual Scriptures of each faith - which he said meant he was not going to explore the ahadith, he broke this "rule" a few times in order to make certain points. He wanted to share the Muslim community's four feminine role models: Khadija, Fatima, Mary and Asiya who "together portray the feminine ideal in leadership roles in Muslim business, religion, family, and government." (pg. 144)
Question: If you were going to choose feminine role models from Scripture or religious history/tradition, would you have chosen these four or would you replace one or two with others? Who would YOU choose and why?
Thoughts on anything else?